Volume Editors: Daniëlle Slootjes and Harm Kaal
New Perspectives on Power and Political Representation from Ancient History to the Present Day offers a unique perspective on political communication between rulers and ruled from antiquity to the present day by putting the concept of representation center stage. It explores the dynamic relationship between elites and the people as it was shaped by constructions of self-representation and representative claims. The contributors to this volume – specialists in ancient, medieval, early-modern and modern history – move away from reductionist associations of political representation with formal aspects of modern, democratic, electoral, and parliamentarian politics. Instead, they contend that the construction of political representation involves a set of discourses, practices, and mechanisms that, although they have been applied and appropriated in various ways in a range of historical contexts, has stood the test of time.
Authors: Carla Hoetink and Harm Kaal

If parliament is anything, it is an institution where speech acts define politics. It should therefore come as no surprise that political historians have devoted most of their attention to parliamentary debate and decision- making, whereas the materiality of parliamentary debate has only recently entered their purview. Building on these recent approaches, this article offers an analysis of the material culture of the Dutch parliament in the post-war years. Three angles of materiality are explored: the building in which the Second Chamber houses; the objects present in plenary hall; and finally, the objects used as ‘props’ in parliamentary performances. Through the use of the notion of ‘performances’ or ‘practices’ of speaking, debating and acting in parliament, the aim is to acquire a better grasp of how these ‘things’ have impinged on political communication.

In: International Journal for History, Culture and Modernity
In: Journal of Applied History
Editors-in-Chief: Harm Kaal and Jelle van Lottum
Individuals are eligible for free access to the Journal of Applied History until 31 December 2021, using access token JOAH4U. Click here for more information.

The Journal of Applied History (JOAH) offers a platform for historians to bring the results of their historical research to bear on the present, on the issues that (should) concern us today. It seeks to promote historical thinking as an essential element of discussions about the challenges that our societies are now confronted with. Historical thinking involves first and foremost a keen eye for context in the broadest sense: an awareness of the social, economic, cultural, political, demographic, and environmental conditions within which the historical process unfurls, which prompts us to move beyond easy, rhetorically appealing, but often lazy analogies between past and present that obscure the complexity and idiosyncrasy of discrete events. By acknowledging the similarities and differences between seemingly analogous events, we can achieve a better understanding of the situations before us today. If we want to mine the past as a reservoir of “good” and “bad” practices from which to draw inspiration, a critical historical approach is needed. Furthermore, historical thinking is necessary if we are to get to the root of the issues, concerns, crises, and narratives that are shaping contemporary society, as well as to develop informed speculations about what may lie ahead. Finally, historical thinking, particularly in the form of comparisons between past and present, can help interrogate those key assumptions that might seem self-evident today and to illuminate the striking features, struggles, and challenges facing our contemporary societies.

We encourage contributions from specialists in all branches of the humanities and social sciences who adopt historical approaches: from historians and anthropologists to political scientists and sociologists, from experts in the history of antiquity to those working on the very recent past. Thus the journal aims to bring together various time frames and a full gamut of approaches and methodologies.

The journal seeks to inform scholars and policy makers interested in connecting past and present through publishing relatively short articles with a length between 4,000 and 7,000 words (annotation excluded). Longer articles can be accepted after consultation with the editors.

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